|Conference explores effects of diet on cardiovascular diseases|
|April 12, 2004|
CHAPEL HILL -- The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's School of Public Health is devoting its 29th Annual Public Health Nutrition Update on Thursday (April 15) to "Diet and Cardiovascular Diseases."
The one-day conference, to be held at UNC's William and Ida Friday Center for Continuing Education, will feature a series of cardiovascular-related talks by nutrition experts and medical researchers.
Heart disease continues to be America's top cause of death, with diet directly affecting the causes of cardiovascular diseases. While deaths from coronary disease and stroke have declined nationwide, the related epidemics of obesity and diabetes are expected to reverse this trend.
"But diet can modify and reduce all risk factors for cardiovascular disease, including those given by genes," said Dr. Richard Deckelbaum, director of the Institute of Human Nutrition at Columbia University and the conference keynote speaker.
Deckelbaum's work includes research on the effects of genetics on dietary intake, the body's use of food and cardiovascular risk factors.
"There are multiple genes that contribute to cardiovascular diseases and utilization of food," Deckelbaum said. "A family history certainly helps in determining who is most at risk from a genetic point of view and identifies those who need the most intensive lifestyle interventions, such as exercise and diet."
While there has been progress in the study of lipid metabolism and particles that cause blocked arteries, Deckelbaum said he doesn't see a "magic pill" or single chemical solution to prevent cardiovascular disease.
The conference will feature several speakers discussing topics relevant to cardiovascular health including research findings on specific dietary "solutions" such as lipid versus non-lipid diets, chromium, antioxidants and nutrients affecting cholesterol, body weight, blood pressure and glucose levels.
Presenters will include Dr. Ross Simpson, a cardiologist in UNC's School of Medicine, who will discuss evidence of the beneficial effects of omega-3 fatty acids. Dr. Sidney Smith, also a UNC cardiologist, will present the conference's closing talk, titled "The Global Epidemic of Cardiovascular Diseases."
Registration details and a conference agenda are available at www.sph.unc.edu/oce. The Office of Continuing Education, part of the N.C. Institute for Public Health, is coordinating the conference.
- 30 -
N.C. Institute for Public Health contact: Bev Holt, (919) 966-6274 or firstname.lastname@example.org
School of Public Health contact: Emily Smith, (919) 966-8498 or email@example.comFor further information please contact Emily Smith either by phone at 919-966-8498 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org